((Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon))
::The trouble with hermitting himself for days had been the ceaseless tirade of questions and contemplations stemming from one open bottle to the next. Reynolds had orchestrated an end to his dealings with the Syndicate, and so he should've been able to pick up his kitbag and go, but if what had come to light on the Scream was true, there were larger elements at play. At the risk of turning maudlin again, Bear sat back and stretched his arm over the back of it, gaze roaming the amber-eyed pirate and her open collar.::
O. Marshall: Why Starfleet? Of all the things you could've done with your emotionally stunted orphan life, why this? Lose a bet to a recruiter?
Josett: That's not too far off. I owed someone a favour. ::She reached for her glass, plucking it from the table.:: He kept me out of prison, this seemed a reasonable way to pay him back.
O. Marshall: Prison? ::His eyebrow lifted over a blue eye.:: You don't come across as someone who would get caught in the first place.
::Lena grinned at him, an impish look dancing in her eyes, and she knocked back the contents of her glass. It was an odd sensation; somewhat freeing and somewhat unsettling, telling someone some of the plain truths about who she was. A part of her railed against it, resisting the idea of giving anything away without a little something in return. Blame it on the booze.::
Josett: That really depends on who's doing the catching. ::She chuckled.:: But why don't you answer me the same question. How did you end up in the hallowed ranks of Starfleet?
O. Marshall: I was born a Marshall. That seemed reason enough. ::Following her example, and noting the deflection technique implemented with such grace, he went to pick up the glass and instead ran his fingers around the rim.:: Honestly? It was Starfleet or the Maquis, but by the time I came to choosing, one was wiped out. Guess which one wasn't.
::A touch of curiosity joined that eternal sense of cheer that was Lena's usual demeanour. Her curls tumbled over her shoulder when she leaned her head to the side, her interest piqued.::
Josett: What reason would you have had to join the Maquis?
O. Marshall: What's that old song? "It's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory. A case of do or die." ::He picked up the shot glass with a brief flicker of a grin and tossed it back; the momentary sting a touch of relief.:: A young man and a head full of righteous indignation he confused for dreams.
::She breathed out a quiet huff of a laugh, an eyebrow twitching upward, along with one corner of her mouth. He wasn't laying it out, but she'd run into plenty of young men filled with that righteous indignation, especially when she'd been younger. The sketch lines were there, even if the shading had yet to be added.::
Josett: That'll do it.
O. Marshall: Hmmm. ::He agreed with a slow nod and an exhale.:: Our colony was ceded to the Cardassians when I was ten and the war ended five years later. ::Then, a deep inhale as he reached for the bottle.:: One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, or so the saying goes.
::She held out her empty glass toward him, the sentiment drawing a nod out of the hybrid. He topped up hers and his, swishing around the remainder in the bottle, just enough for a mouthful to see it empty.::
Josett: I always found it satisfying that my mother's people had to do the same thing as the Maquis, in the end. Turn rebel and terrorist against their oppressors. A lesson they really earned.
::A confused frown took hold of his brow for a second, before he realised he'd made a presumption of her origin, and a not unreasonable one. Turning to look at her over his shoulder, he gazed at her features again; the blend of her species so apparent in the ridges around her eyes, the Bajoran ladder on the bridge of her nose, the crest and creases of Cardassia's progeny just visible through her open collar. As if he hadn't seen her in a mixture of light and situation, he took a fresh look at a pretty face he'd come to know quite well.::
O. Marshall: I assumed your mother was Bajoran, not Cardassian.
Josett: Why wouldn't you? ::She lifted her drink, inspecting the last dregs of the liquor in her glass.:: That is the way this sad little tale was usually played out.
O. Marshall: What happened to her?
::Lena drew in a breath, not used to relating this part of her story. Like Bear, most people had their assumptions about who she was and where she'd come from, and she was content to let them be. When you were just passing through people's lives, why bother filling in the grisly details? Let them believe what they wanted, and it wouldn't matter once you were gone.::
Josett: Battle of Cardassia.
O. Marshall: Were you there?
Josett: I was. Hence the emotionally stunted war orphan.
::She grinned, but its brilliance was somewhat diminished from usual, and Lena knew it. Shaking her head, she knocked back the last of her drink, put her empty down on the table, and plucked his glass from his fingers.::
O. Marshall: You realise I might've been drinking that.
::With a roll of his eyes and a beat of a sympathetic heart he knew she wouldn't appreciate being vocalised, he grasped her shin for support and leaned down over the side of the sofa. Out slipped another bottle of squirrelled away indigo-coloured swirling liquor from behind the furniture and he set it down on the table with a gentle thump.::
O. Marshall: Tell no one you saw where that came from.
Josett: Who would I tell?
::She polished off his glass, placing it next to hers, and exchanged the cards she was holding for the bottle. Uncorking it, she took a curious sniff before pouring them each another measure.::
O. Marshall: It took you three days to get the beat of the gossip on this ship. I've no doubt you'd find someone.
::He leaned back against the arm rest, facing her this time. Nudging her legs to the side, he kicked up his own onto the cushions and drew her feet to rest on his thigh. Game abandoned in favour of conversation, he threw the cards still in his hand onto the table and watched them scatter across the surface.::
O. Marshall: How did you survive?
Josett: She hid me.
::She passed him his drink, holding her own in heavy fingers. The smile had finally fallen off her face, though her mood was contemplative, rather than morose. Memory was a tricky thing; sometimes it felt as though it happened a heartbeat ago, blood and grime still clinging to her skin, fire and screams still ringing in her ears. Others that it was nothing more than wretched holonovel, someone else's experience delivered second-hand with the safeties on.::
Josett: Told me to stay small and stay quiet. And I did.
O. Marshall: Clever girl. ::He held the glass by the rim with his fingertips, the bottom of it touching the floor from a dangling arm. He couldn't imagine — or, rather, didn't want to imagine — how frightened she would've been. Like a needle through his heart, it tugged on a familiar thread.:: How long did you hide?
Lieutenant Orson Marshall
Logistics and Communications Officer
Lieutenant (JG) Lena Josett